The aim at the Prep School is to provide a broad education in sympathy with the National Curriculum, which is flexible enough to allow for individual interests and talents to be developed.
Early Years Foundation Stage (Foundation & Reception)
In our Foundation and Reception classes we provide an Early Years setting where pupils are encouraged to develop their individual strengths. They are introduced to letters and phonics, numbers and counting, through a multi-sensory approach.
The curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines. It is based on on-going observation and assessment in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three learning characteristics:
The prime areas of learning:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
The learning characteristics:
- playing and exploring
- active learning
- creating and thinking critically
As an independent school, we recognise the many benefits that the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum has to offer, however, many children in our setting are working beyond national levels and a good balance is created between learning through play and subject focused work.
Our Foundation and Reception setting is a hive of activity throughout the year – from taking part in Sports Day and the Easter Bonnet Parade, visiting local parks and the School Playing Fields, to rehearsing the nativity play and presenting class assemblies – the first years at school are a uniquely special time that the children never forget.
The Core Curriculum (Years 1-6)
From Years 1-6 pupils study core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science and ICT within the framework of the National Curriculum. Firm foundations are laid in the essential skills of reading, basic numeracy and writing in Years 1 and 2, as a means to access all other curriculum areas. These early building blocks are developed and built up within Key Stage 2 and the expectations of the National Curriculum remain as our minimum standards.
Classrooms contain interactive whiteboards and the pupils are encouraged to use their developing ICT skills across many areas of the curriculum. There are several fully equipped ICT suites available in both the Prep and the Senior School. This is supplemented by the Prep School ‘Innovation Station’ which provide pupils with the opportunity to design, build and experiment with a range of robotic equipment and other technologies. The ‘Cookery Corner’ provides facilities for understanding food and nutrition, as well as being the venue for our weekly ‘Let’s Get Cooking!’ club.
As pupils of the twenty-first century, an international outlook is essential and from Reception upwards, pupils are introduced to languages such as French, Spanish and Mandarin through games, songs and interactive activities. Specifically timetabled lessons in French begin in Year 3 and are supplemented further by Spanish lessons in Year 5 and 6.
The Creative Curriculum (Years 1-6)
The Kingsley Creative Curriculum is a thematic approach to teaching and learning designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity. It offers children the opportunity to work on a given theme in depth, with time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning over the subject divide. There are strong links made between the different area of a traditional curriculum and children see their work as being connected, relevant and purposeful. The Creative Curriculum is skills based and knowledge supported, making learning motivational and successful. Pupils are able to engage with their learning on an individual level and present their learning in a way that is meaningful to them.
This learning is further developed through the use of the Outdoor Classroom located at the Kingsley playing fields, where opportunities for developing their understanding of the world around them is linked with opportunities for learning outside the confines of a classroom.
Pupils also study a wide variety of art and design skills from an early age. This ranges from papier-mâché to puppet making, pastels to painting, printing and to work in textiles. Pupils are introduced to the work of visiting artists who hold workshops; they visit national and local art galleries, and benefit from entering national art competitions and a whole school art challenge for The Kingsley Art Prize.
Music and Drama also have an important part to play in the life of Prep pupils and lessons in both subjects are taught by subject specialist teachers. In addition to weekly class music lessons, there are many opportunities to take part in music activities, as the Prep School has a thriving choir and numerous ensembles, including wind, string, recorder and guitar. Pupils enjoy participating in music festivals and concerts and are given a wealth of performing opportunities including assemblies and, at the end of term, evening concerts involving pupils from both the Prep and the Senior School.
The superb Kingsley Playing Fields, spacious indoor sports facilities and specialist teaching in PE, offer pupils the opportunity to develop skills in gymnastics, swimming and games, including netball, hockey, cross country, tennis, rounders, and athletics. There are many extra-curricular clubs for pupils to enjoy and there are opportunities to represent the school in competitive fixtures and in Inter-House competitions.